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Gijón, 5-6 September 2023 – The event brought together experts, researchers and leaders from around the world with the aim of driving research and innovation in organic fruit production. The agenda of the first day of the event was a testament to the community’s commitment to improving organic agriculture.

The day began with a warm welcome from SERIDA, the European Commission and CIHEAM-Bari, who highlighted the importance of organic fruit breeding in sustainable agriculture and the promotion of environmentally friendly practices.

The inaugural conference was attended by Susana Gaona Saez, Research Policy Officer at the European Commission, who emphasised the relevance of this initiative in addressing current challenges in organic fruit production in Europe and beyond.

Over the two days, participants were immersed in detailed presentations of the nine work packages (WPs) that make up the project’s research programme. The WPs covered a wide range of topics, from mapping and assessment of the current situation to innovative breeding and evaluation methodologies, innovative phenotyping, integrated utilisation of genetic resources, social innovation in the organic breeding sector, list of proposed innovations, impact assessment and risk management, project communication and project coordination.

The first day included scheduled visits to SERIDA and an experimental orchard, where participants were able to learn about ongoing research and innovative technologies in action. In addition, they visited Sidra Cortina in Villaviciosa, where participants enjoyed a local cider tasting and dinner.

On the second day, participants were divided into parallel working groups to discuss and deepen the results and activities of the first year in the corresponding WPs. Two groups were formed, one focusing on stone fruits and the other on pome fruits.

The success of this annual meeting made it clear that organic fruit breeding is a growing field that is driving sustainability in agriculture and promoting innovation across Europe.

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